Mother Schmuckers is definitely not about grape jelly or jam. Instead, it's about two Belgian filmmakers who took their adoring love for the absurd and cult movies and made a movie that John Waters would be proud of that focuses on two idiots who try and find their mom's lost dog. Nothing will prepare audiences for what these two brothers go through, but rest assured, every cult movie fan will be satisfied in more ways than one by the end. With good video and audio presentations, and glimpses at other short films for the bonus features, this release comes Recommended!
Two Belgian brotherly filmmakers known as Harpo and Lenny Guit have crossed the bridge into John Waters territory and have made a darkly funny and absurd comedy titled Mother Schmuckers. This flick exudes elements from early grotesque Peter Jackson movies, a Dude Where's My Car vibe, along with that guerilla filmmaking style of the above-mentioned Waters while adding some heart and soul into the mix. Mother Schmuckers has been destined for cult status once movie buffs figure out that it exists.
It's easy to see what movies influenced the Guit brothers from the first scene of Mother Schmuckers where the two lead actors Issachar (Maxi Delmelle) and Zebulon (Harpo Guit) play brothers who are cooking excrement in a frying pan. Their sex worker mother is so sickened by the smell that she pukes on the camera, thus revealing the title of the movie. The film is not ashamed to be exactly what it needs to be - a funny, gross cult movie, and it succeeds wildly in that aspect. From here the brothers get themselves into one misadventure after another as they encounter a myriad of kooky characters in its short 70-minute runtime.
In that first scene, the two brothers are asked to take their lovely dog named January Jack out for a walk, but they somehow manage to lose the dog and must find it or fear the wrath of their mother. Basically, the movie follows the Dude Where's My Car routine, but instead of a car, it's a canine that the duo is after. Well, that and the Belgian's penchants for the absurd situations that involve interspecies orgies, necrophilia, and more. This is not a mainstream movie and crosses the bounds of the grotesque quite often. But at its core, it's a sweet movie about a couple of brothers and their dog. They exude no rudeness or mean quality, but are simply just idiotic siblings without a care in the world other than being kicked out of their home if they don't find their mother's beloved pup.
Mother Schmuckers is never afraid to show the depraved actions of its characters, but it does so in such a sweet and amateurish way, that there's nothing but pure charm throughout. The fun camera tricks and its actors are all having a blast on screen, and even though there are some dead spaces in between the depravity, this film is ripe with memorable sequences as it etches its way to the top of cult status.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Mother Schmuckers loses its way to Blu-ray courtesy of Dark Star Pictures. The disc is housed inside a hard, clear plastic case with no cardboard sleeve. The artwork is reversible as well. One side features images of the two main actors and the lovable dog that resembles Dude Where's My Car. The other side is original artwork of the entire cast and props from the movie that would look great on any wall. There is a sticker insert consisting of characters and props of the movie, which is a nice touch.
Mother Schmuckers comes with a 1080 HD transfer and looks decent for its low-budget indie roots. The guerilla-style filmmaking with low-grade equipment gives this movie a bit of a digital grindhouse feel. Colors are a tiny bit muted but show a wide array of bursts of primary colors in costumes and the city around the two brothers. The gorgeous red and orange brick buildings that are surrounded by a blue sky and green leaves on city trees look great. The many colors of the choices in the wardrobe are perky as well.
Black levels are mostly inky and rich but can bleed over, but the skin tones are always natural. The detail is rather sharp and vivid in well-lit exterior shots that reveal all the nasty practical effects on the actor's faces or any of the bodily fluids that are excreted. There is some voice noise that pops up, but given the nature of this video presentation, it looks good.
This release comes with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track in French with English subtitles. This is mostly a front-heavy track with random sound effects and dialogue coming through those front speakers. There isn't a ton of directionality or sounds from the surround speakers.
Vehicles driving by, people yelling off-screen, and music cues tend to dominate those surround speakers, but other than that, it's all about the dialogue and its wacky delivery. Sound effects are mostly robust with some zany, gooey sound effects. The dialogue is always clean and clear, easy to follow along with the English subtitles.
There are about 81 minutes of bonus features included here, none of which are about the making of the movie. That's kind of funny. Instead, it's a treasure trove of short films, YouTube comedic videos, and music videos from the brother's catalog.
Mother Schmuckers is a pure slice of cult brilliance where two brother filmmakers took their love of John Waters and Peter Jackson and made a movie for those loveable and absurdist film buffs that enjoy laughing while getting queasy. It's a sweet film with charm, sex, and all bodily secretions. The video and audio presentations are both decent, and the extras don't engage in info on the making of the movie, but rather showcase other short movies from the brothers. Recommended!